So maybe you heard: Some scholar says Jesus may have had a wife. I won’t bore you by rehashing a debate that amounts to nothing. You can read about it yourself if you want.
Big, fat zero or not, I felt annoyed when I first read about it. Once again, non-Christians are drooling over something that contradicts what the church has taught. It doesn’t matter that the papyrus fragment mentioning Jesus’s wife contradicts what the New Testament says; or that the New Testament predates this fragment by hundreds of years. With any other history, this would be a non-issue. Sources written close to the time of a historic figure by people that knew him or her would trump writings authored by a stranger hundreds of years after the fact. There would be nothing to talk about. But such basics don’t matter in a climate of intellectual lust.
Here’s the sub-text: If the church taught something false then everything else it taught can be questioned. We are so ready to be done with Christianity’s absolutist claims. So ready that the flimsiest of reasons is good enough. But this begs the question: Why waste time and energy disproving what we don’t believe anyway? Haven’t we moved past the Christian superstition? Should we put this much effort into disproving the Easter Bunny as well? The fact that people are so delighted to disprove Christianity just tells me they believe it on some level. What do we do when we don’t want to admit something’s true? Discredit it. All of this hub-bub just affirms the gospel in the negative.
And what if it were true? What if Jesus had a wife? Would this up-end even one Christian teaching? No, not even one. Jesus being married changes nothing about the virgin birth, Jesus’s divinity, His atoning death or His resurrection. For me, Jesus’s earthly wife would merely foreshadow His heavenly one: the church (Eph. 5:22-32).
Jesus being married wouldn’t change a thing for me or for those who would like to justify rejecting Him. That said, the idea that Jesus had a wife does make me think: What might she have said during arguments? “Oh, that’s right. I forgot. YOU CAN WALK ON WATER!!” “DON’T YOU TURN THE OTHER CHEEK TO ME , MISTER!” “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man can lay his head in the dog house tonight!”
Like every other challenge to Christianity, this one will have its day and then die quietly in a back alley. Heaven and earth may pass away but the words of Jesus will never pass away (Matt. 24:35). Still, I have one thing to say for this whole debacle: At least it was good for a few laughs.